Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

IC3 Certification | Digital Literacy

An In-Depth Review of the IC3 GS6 Certification

September 14th, 2021 | 8 min. read

Print/Save as PDF

Business education and computer teachers often tell us they are interested in adding certification opportunities for their students. And most teachers want to go beyond the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications.

One of the most popular certification options we hear about is the IC3 Global Standard 6 digital literacy program.

Many teachers we work with use the IC3 certifications in their program, but is it right for you?

In this article, we’ll answer the five most common questions teachers ask about the IC3 GS6 certification:

  1. What Is the IC3 GS6 Digital Literacy Certification Program?
  2. How Are the IC3 GS6 Exams Structured?
  3. What are the Benefits of the IC3 GS6 Certification?
  4. What are the Drawbacks of IC3 GS6 Certification?
  5. Is the IC3 GS6 Certification Right for Your Students?

1. What Is the IC3 GS6 Digital Literacy Certification Program?


IC3 Digital Literacy Global Standard 6 (GS6) is the latest version of the IC3 Digital Literacy program from Certiport. The program was restructured to cover current digital literacy concepts, including cloud and mobile technologies.

The IC3 GS6 Digital Literacy Certification program helps learners navigate the digital world by measuring student knowledge on hardware, software, content creation, and digital safety.

This knowledge is measured across seven domains:

  1. Technology Basics
  2. Digital Citizenship
  3. Information Management
  4. Content Creation
  5. Communication
  6. Collaboration
  7. Safety and Security

There are various objectives within each domain, and there are three exams to validate your students' understanding at the basic (Level 1), intermediate (Level 2), and advanced (Level 3) levels.

In the next section, you’ll discover details of each exam to help you determine which level is best for your student.

2. How Are the IC3 GS6 Exams Structured?


There are three exams in the IC3 GS6 certification program that each award a certificate while validating the students' understanding of the core concepts. 

These stackable certifications are organized according to the level of knowledge needed to earn the certificate:

  • Level 1(basic): measures knowledge of fundamental concepts and essential components.
  • Level 2 (intermediate): requires a working knowledge of each of the seven skill groups and tests the students’ ability to complete basic tasks online and within varying applications.
  • Level 3 (advanced): validates an advanced understanding of digital literacy and requires students to show mastery of digital literacy skills and concepts. 

Students have 50 minutes to complete 45 questions related to the objective across the seven domains for each separate exam. 

When a student passes an exam, they earn the IC3 GS6 certificate for that level. 

If a student successfully passes all three certification exams, they earn a master certificate and badge to display, which displays an advanced understanding of the concepts and principles of the IC3 GS6.

To learn more about each exam level and the objectives included within each domain, read this article.

3. What are the Benefits of the IC3 GS6 Certification?


Overall, there are three main benefits to adding the IC3 GS6 certification to your digital literacy program:

  • The IC3 GS6 certification was recently updated. 
  • The IC3 GS6 helps students meet ISTE requirements.
  • The IC3 GS6 certification is organized according to knowledge.

The IC3 GS6 Certification was Recently Updated

The IC3 Digital Literacy Certification program was updated in 2021, with the release of the IC3 GS6 version. 

This means that the information on the exams and the related test prep materials will be very up-to-date. This is very important especially given the speed at which the technology landscape moves. 

The current certification version will equip your students with the necessary skills and concepts required for their future careers. 

IC3 GS6 Helps Students Meet ISTE Requirements

The IC3 GS6 is aligned with the International Society for Technology in Education  (ISTE) standards, a requirement in some districts. 

The ISTE Standards for Students are: 

  1. Empowered Learner
  2. Digital Citizen
  3. Knowledge Constructor
  4. Innovative Designer
  5. Computational Thinker
  6. Creative Communicator
  7. Global Collaborator

If you need to meet the ISTE standards in your class, then it’s a lot easier if you use the IC3 GS6 certification topics as a guide!

IC3 GS6 Certification Is Organized According to Knowledge

Unlike the previous versions of the certification, the IC3 GS6 exams are organized according to the candidate’s required level of knowledge.

This segmentation helps teachers like you plan the class and certification according to which level is most appropriate for your students. 

4. What are the Drawbacks of IC3 GS6 Certification?


Overall there are two main drawbacks of the IC3 GS6 certification: 

  • There are no recertification requirements
  • The pricing is unclear

The IC3 GS6 Certification Includes No Recertification Requirements

In many industries, professionals who earn credentials and certificates must recertify regularly to ensure that their skills and knowledge are up-to-date. 

However, there is no requirement to recertify with the IC3 GS6. This means that once someone earns the IC3 GS6 Certification, they are certified for life, even if they earn it in seventh grade. 

While this might sound appealing to students, it could have consequences for employment as recruiters may show preferential treatment to those who have recently received certification. 

In addition, there is no requirement for students to take the most recent exam to maintain their credentials. As the world of digital technology moves so quickly, this means that the certification could become out of date within a few years. 

The Pricing for IC3 GS6 Certifications is Unclear

The cost is a significant consideration for any certification, and it may be a drawback of the IC3 GS6. 

Through Certiport, there are several options for purchasing IC3 exam vouchers and preparation materials. However, there is currently no pricing information available for the IC3 GS6 certification program.

If you would like detailed costs for your school, you will need to fill out a form and work directly with a representative of the publisher.

5. Is the IC3 GS6 Certification Right for Your Students?


Overall, determining whether the IC3 GS6 Certification is suitable for your program depends on the goals and age of your students. 

Suppose you teach a high school course that focuses on digital literacy and related topics. In that case, IC3 GS6 will fit your needs perfectly - especially since you can choose the level of certification based on what’s most appropriate for your students.

However, if you teach middle school students, who are new to the idea of digital literacy, then the IC3 GS6 Certification will likely be too advanced. 

Luckily, there is another option available if you need a certification more appropriate for middle schoolers: The IC3 Spark Certification

Want to learn more about this option for your middle school classroom? Click below to learn about the differences between IC3 GS6 and IC3 Spark!

Learn the Difference between IC3 Spark and IC3 GS6!